Artist: Hot Chip
Title: In Our Heads
Record Label: Domino
Dance music always seems to provoke the cringeworthy image of drunken nights out and the hazy heavy headed feeling of enjoying yourself too much. It’s a music genre that has never been synonymous with subtly or intimacy. Luckily for us Hot Chip don’t buy into these preconceptions as their quirky take on dancefloor bound tuneage manages to bind hip shaking urgency with poignant lyrical content making the five piece an anomaly when it comes to making people move their feet.
The London quintet are priming their fifth album, In Our Heads, and with one foot placed in the clubs and another one firmly in our hearts, this new record is a synth-tinged opus that has been engineered to stimulate pulses as well as brain waves. This latest output has all the elements we’ve come to love from Hot Chip, effervescent synths, compelling beats and the cooed dulcet tones of Alexis Taylor make a welcome return. In Our Heads sonically sounds very much like a collective achievement, not just one dude sitting in his bedroom chewing over drum loops. This gives the record a more complete asthetic ensuring an organic warmth is radiated through its lifespan.
While the instrumentation is, ultimately, an essential factor to Hot Chip’s delivery, the group also prides themselves on the ability to offer up a provocative lyric here and there. On ‘How Do You Do?’ Taylor reflects on the following “A church is not for praying/it’s for celebrating the light that bleeds through the pain”. The subject of love echoes throughout In Our Heads frequently, with ‘These Chains’ providing an ambiguous slant on love “These chains/you bound around my heart/complete me”. Does this document a loving relationship or a claustrophobic partnership built on a controlling obsession? This lyric works to confirm Hot Chip like to make your mind do a jig as well as your feet.
Hot Chip aren’t the kind of band to be constrained by time frames and always having to bash out tracks that fit a formula, this is apparent in two seven minute mini epics that inhabit their fifth album. ‘Let Me Be Him’ captures the band in a sombre mood while ‘Flutes’ pulses with marathon like intensity as synths swell and beats bounce along with energetic urgency.
In Our Heads captures Hot Chip at their creative best and illustrates the quirky mechanics to their musical minds.
Words and Thoughts of Adam Williams